Quick-strike Challengers in quarterfinals
BOARDMAN — Cascade Christian wasted little time asserting itself in the first round of the Class 3A/2A/1A girls soccer playoffs Tuesday.
The Challengers tallied two goals in the first 16 minutes and defeated Riverside, 2-0, to advance to the quarterfinals for the third straight year.
Cascade Christian (9-3-1), the ninth seed and runner-up in District 5, next visits top-seeded Catlin Gabel (14-1) on Saturday. The Eagles had a bye in the first round.
Against Riverside, the Challengers powered in two goals in short order.
“We hit them hard and fast, and it was something they weren’t going to recover from,” said Cascade Christian coach Mick Power. “We dominated the midfield and dealt with anything that got past it. Our defense played really well.”
Baylee Plankenhorn scored the first goal in the 11th minute, taking a pass from Emily Stephens and rifling a left-footed shot into the goal from 12 yards.
Five minutes later, Haley Reed’s perfectly placed pass into Jenna Worthington’s path set up the latter for an 18-yard strike.
The Challengers had “five or six other chances that narrowly missed,” said Power.
Midfielders Reed and Stephens and defender Saige Bostwick were keys to the shutout, he said, against eighth-seeded Riverside (8-4-2).
Cascade Christian faces quite a test against Catlin Gabel, champion of District 1. The Eagles have only been scored on by two teams, and the Challengers were one of them, losing 6-1 on Sept. 10.
Catlin Gabel beat Cascade Christian 5-0 in last year’s quarterfinals, advancing to the title game, where it lost 1-0 to Oregon Episcopal.
“We scored on them, so they’re not invincible,” said Power. “Do we have a chance? Absolutely. We’ll go there with full optimism and do what we can the best way we can.”
SUNSET 6, SOUTH MEDFORD 0: At Portland, fifth-seeded Sunset earned the second-round Class 6A state victory.
Twelfth-seeded South Medford, which entered on a three-match winning streak, finished the year 9-5-2. The Apollos are 11-3-3.
SANDY 2, ASHLAND 1, OT: At Sandy, fifth-seeded Sandy won the first-round Class 5A state match.
The Pioneers (10-2-3) scored right before halftime and with two minutes left in overtime to advance to the Elite Eight.
Mya Elder-Hammond scored on a 25-yard free kick in the 43rd minute for 12th-seeded Ashland (10-5-1).